Maine’s economic growth ranks 47th in a new study by a leading business publication, Business Insider.
The ranking is among the latest evidence showing Maine’s job and economic growth behind other states in the country. According to national labor statistics, the country has recovered 106 percent of the nonfarm payroll jobs lost during the recession.
Regionally, New England has recovered 116 percent of jobs. Maine lags behind, recovering only 63 percent of the jobs lost in the recession.
Top legislative leaders said the latest ranking is yet another indicator of LePage’s failed management.
Governor LePage reneged on a deal the state had made with Statoil by manipulating the legislature. The company was going to invest $120 million in their project when LePage pushed his bill through the legislature taking away rights given Statoil under the Maine Public Utilities Commission.
Statoil--an international clean energy innovator was ready to make Maine's name as the world's leader in floating offshore wind platforms. International sales in the technology, jointly created with the University of Maine, would have highlighted this cutting edge industry while creating hundreds of jobs and pumping millions of dollars in to Maine's economy. Statoil has since invested $2.5 billion in the U.K.
“Maine people deserve leaders who will put economic opportunity and jobs ahead of ideology,” said Speaker of the House Mark Eves of North Berwick. “Governor LePage billed himself as a businessman who would turn around Maine’s economy yet he has chosen Tea Party politics over jobs and what’s best for the people of Maine at every turn.”
LePage also pushed his agenda through the legislature. By doing so Maine's 1 percent got a huge tax break while most every citizen saw an increase in their property tax bill. What happened was simply: By giving the rich a tax break LePage took funds that normally would have gone to local towns away from them. These local municipalities had to keep emergency services and their schools running so property taxes went up and some services were cut. Jobs were lost, and incomes slashed with LePage's policies.
Additionally, LePage is the only Governor in the country who vetoed five bills to increase access to life-saving health care under the Affordable Care Act, turning down nearly $1 million per day in economic investment in the state.
According the Maine Center on Economic Policy, the federal investment in life-saving health care would have created and saved 4,400 jobs in the state.
“Gov. LePage may want to tell folks that he’s done right by Maine’s economy but once again, I don’t think he should be bragging about these bottom-of-the-pack numbers,” said Senate President Justin Alfond. “After almost for years, it’s clear his strategies are not effective. Governor LePage and his allies in the legislature are not what Maine needs or can afford.”
Under Paul LePage’s economic leadership, Maine has experienced, a job creation record among the worst in the U.S. since the bottom of the recession, ranking 42nd out of 50 states in the latest report (June 2014). Additionally, Maine has the 5th highest rate in the country of people who work only part-time because they can’t find full-time jobs.
The state has had the second worst personal income growth record in the U.S., ranking 49th from 2009 through 2013. Plus, median household income is down $1,600 and $4,600 below the U.S. median.